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i8o                 HISTORY OF PERSIA                CHAP.
exclaiming that it was a Holy War ensuring Paradise,
swept them off the field, with a loss of more than half
their numbers.
After making a triumphal entry into Caesarea, Bay-
bars, finding that the princes of Asia Minor ^ared not
join him from fear of Abaga, retired to Damascus, where
he died. Abaga, too late to retrieve the disaster, marched
through Asia Minor, inflicting punishment on those who
had failed in their duty with merciless severity, and upon
his return to Persia sacrificed the Governor of Asia Minor
to the resentment of the widows of his defeated soldiers.
The Battle of Hims, A.H. 680 (1281).—Burning to
avenge the disaster of Abulistin, Abaga took advantage of
a revolution in Egypt to invade Syria, and a great battle
was fought near Hims, in the vicinity of the tomb of
Khalid, the famous Moslem general. As at Abulistin,
the battle began with a charge of the Mongol left wing,
which, however, was repulsed. The Egyptians in turn
charged and routed the Mongol left, but as an offset to
this success their own left was broken by the right
Mongol wing, which pursued it to the gates of Hims.
There the Mongols occupied themselves with looting
while awaiting the main body, whose success they never
questioned. But meanwhile the Mongol centre, under
Mangu-Timur, the brother of Abaga, had broken and
fled, and consequently the Egyptians remained masters
of the field ; in the pursuit which ensued the Mongol
losses were heavy.1 This was the last expedition under-
taken by Abaga, who died in the following year.
The Intercourse of Abaga with Europe.—Christendom,
represented by the Pope, had, as already mentioned,
made friendly overtures to the Mongols, whose protection
of Christians had become known. At this period quite a
correspondence ensued with Abaga, much of which has
been preserved. Among the letters, that written by
Edward I. of England is of special interest, and is given
as a heading to this chapter. In pursuance of his policy,
1 An interesting contemporary account of this battle, which makes the Mongol
defeat seem less severe, is found in a letter from Joseph de Cancy, a Knight Hospitaller,
to King Edward I. of England. A translation of this document and of the reply to it
is given. 4n Howorth's op. cit. vol. iii. p. 763 ff.